HOW TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE
BY CARL A. TRAPANI
In my clinical practice I often use Scriptural examples to deal with contemporary problems. The story of blind Bartimaeus’ dramatic healing in Mark 10 is a pattern for helping people who feel stuck in the same old rut of depression and ennui. The essence of this story is that Bartimaeus wanted to change. He wanted to see. He wanted to live a normal life. His miracle actually became a reality because of several things Bartimaeus did.
I list these in order.
THE KEYS TO CHANGE
1. ASSUME RESPONSIBILITY And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out… (verse 47)
It was back in the early 1960s that Admiral Rickover wrote these few lines about responsibility: “Responsibility is a unique concept. It can only reside in a single individual. You may share it with others, but your portion is not diminished. You may delegate it, but it is still with you. If responsibility is rightfully yours, no evasion or ignorance or passing the blame can shift the burden to someone else.”
Tough words, but true. If you want to change some thing – anything – you must first accept responsibility for it. I often counsel couples. “If either one of you really wants to change your marriage, first assume responsibility for changing yourself.”
2. BELIEVE YOU CAN CHANGE
Lord. that I might receive my sight (verse 51).
Bartimaeus believed in the possibility of his receiving a miracle. Those who believe they can change – are right – they can. Believing makes it so.
Paul Harvey has rightly said, “If you don’t live it, you won’t believe it.”
In counseling, I encourage people to try to imagine how things will be after they are changed. I tell them to imagine how good they will feel. Believing in your ability to change leads to the reality.
3. CLARIFY AND FOCUS
What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? (verse 51) Bartimaeus was focused on what he really wanted – his vision. No wavering, no indecision – he was clear about his needs.
Most people never change their lives in a satisfactory way because they are unsure about what really needs to be changed.
4. Don’t worry about others
Many charged him that he should hold his peace (verse 48).
Fearing public opinion will only stop you from advancing. Bartimaeus, didn’t care about others’ opinions. He was blind (literally) to the scornful glances of others.
5. Don’t wait (verses 46-49)
As far as Bartimaeus was concerned, this was the best time to be healed. And he was right. George Bernard Shaw, the Irish dramatist and critic, said, “People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want and if they can’t find them – make them!”
6. DO IT NOW
And he … came to Jesus (verse 50).
Change can be dramatic. It comes when a person moves ahead to receive its effects. Procrastination steals the joys of change today, by promising even better delights tomorrow but procrastination is not only a thief, but a liar as well. So decide today to change today and tomorrow will be as joyous as you hope for.
Tim Hansel wrote about doing things now in his book, When I Relax I Feel Guilty:
Don’t be bashful. Bite in. Pick it up with your fingers and let the juice that may run down your chin. Life is ready and ripe. Now. When ever you are.
From the Wisconsin District News, February 1999 issue.
THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED BY PENTECOSTAL VOICE OF TENNESSEE, JULY 2001, PAGE 8. THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY AND RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.